Saturday, September 26, 2009

Alter almost two weeks away, confirming that Spain is a magnificent country peopled by lovely folk, I’ll be heading back to humdrum life on Monday. My first task will be to get hold of a plumber who’ll not only visit the house but then come back to me with an estimate for replacing my boiler. And then, even more importantly, turn up to do this before the winter sets in. I’ve been engaged on this challenge for over three months now and figure I’ve got a max of two more before conceding defeat this year. Which is not promising. Recession? What recession?

But I wouldn’t want to give the impression it’s been all failure. One of the three plumbers I contacted did come to the house, looked at my existing boiler and promised an estimate. But that was two months ago. And summer is well over now.

All of which reminds me . . . Next year will be one of decisions for me. After ten years here, I’ll be entitled to Spanish nationality. Will I take it? Or will I move on to somewhere else, the most obvious choice being south west France? Perhaps I should use the interim twelve months to check if they have reliable plumbers there.

I mentioned a week or two ago that the traffic police might have set up the cheekiest-yet speed trap near an exit from the A52 near Ourense. Driving later from Salamanca to Cáceres I actually took a decision reflecting this increased - revenue driven - hassling of motorists. I was in no hurry and wanted to drive on the national road, through the numerous villages and towns along the very scenic route. In the end, I decided to forego this pleasure and to drive at only 100km on the autovia between the cities. I felt I was less likely to fall foul of the police this way. I mention this as a prelude to making the point that life wasn’t like this in Spain nine years ago. It’s one of the several major and minor changes making life here more like it is in other European countries, changing the net balance in the process. And I figure that, if one's to suffer these slings and arrows, one might as well do it where people are efficient and the cuisine is a lot better. And perhaps the French aren’t as bad as they say. Maybe I’ll rent for a while to find out.

Meanwhile, though, I hear the weather this last week in Pontevedra has been even warmer than in Extremadura, Castile and Madrid. As in early spring, there’s been a week of temperatures in the low 30s. On the whole, though, I agree with those who say this summer in the Rias Baixas has been cooler than usual. I know this because I can count on the fingers of two hands the number of times I’ve worn shorts to walk Ryan or short-sleeved shirts to go into town. Which is as good a bit of research as any.

Which reminds me . . . My daughter has posted more Extremadura fotos – including one of Ryan - on Facebook. If this works, you can see the 9 new ones here, along with the old ones.

And, finally, here’s one of mine – The fish’n’chip shop in Guadelupe. Honest.


Sierra said...

Pontevedra at odds with the rest of Spain again? Report this week...

"..The Spanish Meteorological Agency has reported that the summer just ended was the third hottest in the past 40 years. Spokesman, Ángel Rivera, said that average temperatures were 1.8º higher than the average from 1970 to 2000. Hotter years were 2005 when it was 1.9º higher and in 2003 when it was 2.6º higher.
Rivera described the summer as ‘extraordinarily warm’, and drew special attention to the last two weeks of August when it normally cools, but where this year the high temperatures continued, especially at night."

Anonymous said...

Southern France, Mr Davies, what a lovely country! Go for it!

Ferrolano said...


I would like to think and believe that Galicia has more to offer than the SW of France and your blog will be sorely missed, by some more than others. And speaking of which, that may be the move (sorry) to get your fan from Leicester starting his own!

Talking of the Chipi, did you stop in an get your piece of cod and six penny worth of chips, served on yesterday’s newspaper, so that you could catch-up with what’s going on in the world? - Those were the days!

Anonymous said...

The country may be lovely but you have to live with the French people. In my experience a difficult thing to do. Ferrolano is correct but making a departure from your excellent blog wont get the odd ball from Leicester starting one.

Colin said...

Thanks, RP. My sister has lived 40 years in France, albeit in the rarefied air of Lourdes. Perhaps I should ask her. Or just ponder on the fact she is a lot more difficult than she used to be . . . .

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